Draft IEEE 1680 Imaging and TV Environmental Standards Move to Balloting
Major step toward final approval, and development of EPEAT registration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 25, 2011
Sarah O’Brien, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 802 479 0317
Portland, OR: After two years of intensive discussion and debate by hundreds of stakeholders, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Working Groups developing the IEEE 1680.2 and IEEE 1680.3 environmental assessment standards for Imaging Equipment and Televisions have voted to forward their Draft Standards to the IEEE Standards Association membership for balloting.
This is a major step toward completion and implementation of the standards, which, upon approval by the balloting group, will join the existing 1680.1 Standard for the Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer products. That standard provides the basis for the EPEAT green electronics rating system used by thousands of purchasers worldwide. When the Imaging Equipment and TV standards are final, EPEAT will use them to register products in these new categories.
“This huge milestone results from the very hard work of the stakeholders involved,” said Wayne Rifer, EPEAT Director of Standards and Conformity Assessment and IEEE Environmental Assessment Standards Committee co-chair. “Every decision made in the standards development process affects the interests of different stakeholders, and finding compromise and consensus despite anxiety and challenge is, frankly, really hard. The positive result of this intensive process reflects stakeholders’ commitment to a successful standards outcome.”
The incredible success of the EPEAT system demonstrates that such hard-won consensus can provide enormous buy-in for using a standard to drive environmental performance improvements. Between July 2006 and January 2010 more than 300 million products rated in EPEAT against the IEEE 1680.1 standard for computers and displays were sold worldwide. The related environmental benefits reached an astounding level – the equivalent of removing 8.8 million average US passenger cars from the road for a year, eliminating the annual solid waste generation of 55,000 US households, and eliminating use of enough mercury to fill more than a million fever thermometers. And EPEAT registered product sales and specifications continue to climb.
“Given the immense success of EPEAT’s use of IEEE 1680.1 to identify environmentally preferable IT equipment, purchasers have been pressing for the system’s expansion to additional product categories,” said Jeff Omelchuck, EPEAT’s Executive Director. “This week’s vote moves our capacity to implement registration for new products forward by a great leap.”
The 1680.2 and 1680.3 Working Groups included representatives of all stakeholder groups – manufacturers, environmental NGOs, recyclers, private and public purchasers, researchers, government representatives, suppliers and others. Participation was international, with stakeholders from the UK, China, Taiwan, Canada and the United States involved.
Working group approval of the draft standards required a 75% favorable vote, not once but twice. First subgroups developing sets of criteria – addressing reduction of sensitive materials, energy efficiency, End of Life management, etc – had to achieve 75% approval of diverse stakeholders to move their cluster of criteria on to the working group. Then after lengthy discussion, revisions and negotiation, the entire working group had to approve the full draft of each standard by a 75% or higher margin for it to move forward to the “balloting” stage – where it will be voted on by the membership of the IEEE Standards Association.
“Given the length and depth of the commitment required of participants, the international participation in this process, and the directly opposing views of many of the stakeholders on crucial issues, reaching the 75% threshold not once but twice is an astounding success.” said Rifer, “It is also testament to the participants’ understanding of these standards’ potential to positively impact the environment and the electronics sector for years to come.”
IEEE balloting (or voting) on the draft standards will begin in the near future – with all members of IEEE invited to vote (and interested parties able to join IEEE in order to ballot on this standard). More information on the process, timeline, and opportunities to weigh in will be provided at 18.104.22.168/EPEATwp/ and www.ieee.org as the process is developed.
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EPEAT® is the definitive global registry for greener electronics, covering the most products from the broadest range of manufacturers. Based on the IEEE 1680 family of standards for environmental assessment of electronic products, EPEAT combines comprehensive, objective criteria for design, production, energy use and recycling with ongoing independent verification of manufacturer claims after registration. With more than 3,200 products from over 45 manufacturers registered in 41 countries, EPEAT has rapidly become the most comprehensive green electronics registry in existence.